The crash, and subsequent rebirth of Las Vegas' housing market has been well-established. A new special report shows how three local home builders are thriving with greater financial health and stability.
Wayne Laska, principal of Vegas builder StoryBook Homes believed in the housing market even when its outlook looked most bleak. Maintaining profitability between 2007 and 2011 was difficult, Laska attests, causing him to reduce staff, negotiate debt with banks to keep at least some of the lots he owned (ultimately keeping 100 out of 1,000), and buying distressed lots from other builders with the supply of cash on hand despite thinning margins, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Today, with a smaller staff and assets outside of home building, Laska feels his company is in a better position than it was before the housing crash, "We’re a much more under-leveraged company."
When the Las Vegas real estate market cratered during the Great Recession, all lenders and homebuilders took their lumps. For local builders, some of whom who had spent decades as prominent players and contributors to the local community, the sting could be felt even more deeply. Unlike a publicly held builder, many of these builders didn’t have much cash to fall back on to weather a prolonged downturn. Some entered a state of hibernation, waiting for better days. Others continued to build at a fraction of the pace and price with skeleton crews, even in less-than-hopeful times.